Money & Banking
HDFC Bank now show charges upfront but customers still needs to opt out
Following an outpouring of outrage by customers on social media, and a satyagraha of sorts by a customer, which attracted plenty of media attention (Read: HDFC Bank charges Rs100 per quarter for accessing 'by-invite-only' feature! http://www.moneylife.in/article/hdfc-bank-charges-rs100-per-quarter-for-accessing-by-invite-only-feature/49700.html ) HDFC Bank mailers  offering special benefits to Imperia customers has now begun to display details of the charges upfront.
 
But there is still a catch. Most customers and consumer activists have pointed out that charges for special services should be on an 'opt-in' basis. Anyone who wants to subscribe should do it of their own volition instead of having to opt-out of something they do not want, need and have not asked for. However, HDFC's Imperia customers still needs to opt out of the offer. 
 
In its latest email message to customers of its Imperia Banking Programme, HDFC Bank says, "As communicated earlier, we charge a nominal fee of Rs100 + taxes per quarter per Customer ID for Savings and Current Account holders. The fee is charged only after you have enjoyed a free trial period of One Year."
 
"You have the option of opting out of this programme at any time, and if you wish to do so, please click here," the Bank says while listing out benefits of remaining signed in for this programme. 
 
As per HDFC Bank, customers who are using this programme, can use any domestic ATM any number of times without any charge or at zero charge. These customers will not be charged any penalty for not maintaining average monthly balance (AMB) depending upon the type of account. HDFC Bank customers need to maintain AMB of Rs5000 and are charged Rs150 for not maintaining the minimum balance.
 
In addition, the Bank offers zero rentals on accessing locker facility (depending upon availability of the lockers) and enhances limit on Imperia Platinum Debit Card without the additional charge of Rs750 per annum. Customers of Imperia Banking Programme will not be charged Rs750 as annual maintenance charges and would be give preferential pricing on loans, the Bank says.
 
Here is the mail sent by HDFC Bank...
 

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COMMENTS

Sucheta Dalal

4 months ago

If usurious bank charges anger you, please join the fight against it. Sign and share my petition to the RBI governor : copy this link and click here: https://tinyurl.com/k45z4n5

Gurudutt Mundkur

4 months ago

For somebody like me who plans and uses his money well, there i no problem.
I have to keep an AVB of Rs 5K. I consider that I have kept an FD of Rs5K at 4% interest
and use the balance.
I do not have so many valuables that I have to keep them in a locker. Also, if I had, i would prefer to keep them at home and insure the same.... valuables kept in a locker are not insurable. What is the use of keeping them in a locker, if, when I have to sue them I have to take them out and then they are stolen--- they are not insured during that time nor are they in the locker!
I plan my debit card usage and my on line purchases ... so no problem.
Let the Banks set the rules and penalties... I am up to it without paying any penalties.

R Balakrishnan

4 months ago

It is remarkable that the present management is doing everything it can to shake the faith of the customers. But the investors are blissful in their perception that is so wrong. One day, this cookie too shall crumble

REPLY

Suketu Shah

In Reply to R Balakrishnan 3 months ago

I love the way you have put it:)

HDFC Bank head office staff we had experience with behave as if they are celebrities themselves much like Morgan Stanley staff.And lying for them is like a routine practice they cannot live without.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.This bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.This bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

Suketu Shah

4 months ago

One striking aspect of HDFC Bank is they give so much power to their top executives that they do things to harm customers using the banks name even after leaving HDFC Bank.They stalk wealth management customers(or shd I say ex-customers).
Also their wealth management division "director" told me during our dealings in 2011 that our previous service provider Bajaj Capital was giving such ordinary service compared to tghem.Yes .What you donot know is that the Bajaj Capital executive who tried to stalk me was almost arrested in Jan 2015.Probably they are looking to go one up on Bajaj Capital as well as the route to such people with me is straight police since a few yrs,nothing less.Utter nonsense this bank and their staff are-no shame or self-respect.

krishna

5 months ago

hdfc does not send otp for fund transfer.

krishna

5 months ago

No other option other than HDFC which ia best bank. Paytm is saying that it will launch PAYMENT bank will launch by 31 march. if paytm launches bank by sept 2017, then it may become a jio kind disruption in banking space.

Why 12.1 mn 'divyaang' Indians are illiterate
At the launch of the government's Accessible India Campaign in December 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the term "divyaang" -- which translates into "divine body" -- for persons with disability, instead of the usual "viklaang", or handicapped. He said persons with disability are divinely blessed with "extra gifts".
 
Many disabled rights groups later wrote to the Prime Minister arguing that changing terminology alone would not end the discrimination persons with disability face, and asking him to address the barriers that hinder their participation in the country's economic, social and political life.
 
What does living with disability in India mean, particularly with regard to access to education and employment, 22 years after the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act was passed?
 
As things stand, 45 per cent of India's disabled population is illiterate, according to Census 2011, compared to 26 per cent of all Indians. Of persons with disability who are educated, 59 per cent complete Class X, compared to 67 per cent of the general population.
 
Despite the promise of universal access to education through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which promotes free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of six and 14, children with special needs form the largest out-of-school group in India. Some 28 per cent special-needs children between six and 13 years of age are out of school, according to the 2014 National Survey of Out of School Children report, at a time when India has almost universal primary school enrolment. 
 
Among children with special needs, as many as 44 per cent with more than one disability are out of school, and children with mental (36 per cent) and speech (35 per cent) disabilities are more likely to be out of school than those with other disabilities.
 
Clearly, policies have to be more finely tailored to serve children across the disability spectrum. Experts also emphasise the need to go beyond providing just physical access.
 
For instance, the Accessible India Campaign aims to make 50 per cent of all government buildings in the national capital and state capitals accessible by July 2018; the larger goal is a move towards creating universal access, equal opportunity for development and independent living and participation in all aspects of life for people with disabilities. However, those with experience on the ground talk of a different reality.
 
"The whole problem with Accessible India Campaign is that we are only looking at physical access and not attitudinal access. If you want inclusion to take place, you need both," said Srilatha Juvva, Professor, Centre for Disability Studies and Action, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
Getting special-needs children into school is only the beginning. Once in school, these children need user-friendly instruction and teaching equipment. However, Juvva said, policymakers perceive this as an additional investment.
 
Within special-needs children who are enrolled in school, the number drops steadily in higher grades, with a drop after Grades VIII (48 per cent, compared to 2.6 for all children) and IX (21 per cent, compared to 6.8 for all children), according to the 2015-16 District Information System for Education data. As a result, 89 per cent of school-going children with special needs are in elementary school, only 8.5 per cent are in secondary school and a mere 2.3 per cent in higher secondary.
 
Should there be special schools for children with special needs, or should they be integrated into regular classrooms? India's policies are unclear.
 
While the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) runs separate schools for children with special needs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) promotes an inclusive-education model where such children study in regular classrooms.
 
Children with disability who are able to beat all the odds stacked against them to complete education up to Grade X face another hurdle: What course to choose for higher studies, given the widespread bias about what a person with disability can or cannot do?
 
As a result, students with disability have often had to fight to assert their right to study courses of their choice. At least two visually-challenged students have been in the news recently for approaching the courts -- Kritika Purohit filed a case in the Bombay High Court to be allowed to study physiotherapy, and Reshma Dileep approached the Kerala High Court to be allowed to study science beyond secondary school.
 
"Primarily because education is a state and a central subject, there is no central body that can frame guidelines for everybody," Neha Trivedi, project consultant with Xavier's Resource Centre for Visually Challenged, which has assisted visually-challenged students in their legal battles, said. Even if the MHRD issues a circular asking all universities to allow visually-challenged students to study science, each university and college has to accept the directive and enable it through its operational guidelines, she said.
 
One instrument that can make a significant difference in the life of a person with disability is the disability certificate. Awarded to those considered to have more than 40 per cent disability, the certificate makes its holder eligible for various state and central government schemes, scholarships, free travel, loans, prosthetic aids and appliances, and even an unemployment allowance.
 
Medical boards of district civil hospitals are responsible for issuing disability certificates. However, over half the people with disability -- 51 per cent -- did not have disability certificates by July 2015, according to figures submitted by the MSJE in Lok Sabha.
 
The MSJE claims to have simplified the procedure for issuing disability certificates -- it can be issued by any doctor at a primary health centre for disabilities such as amputations, blindness and complete paralysis, and must be issued within a month of receiving an application.
 
In practice, however, it takes up to three to six times longer. 
 
There are only three centres which issue disability certificates that are recognised for government schemes in Mumbai -- JJ Group of Hospitals, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities, and All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sunil Bhadane, Special Educator, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, told IndiaSpend. "It takes anywhere between 3-6 months to receive the certificates because of the long wait to get an appointment," he said.
 
For people residing in rural areas, disability certificates are mandatory to avail reservation in jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. There is a shortage of specialists in rural areas to issue certificates for disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and Down syndrome, Rajive Raturi, Director, Disability Rights, Human Rights Law Network, Delhi, told IndiaSpend. "This makes it difficult for those with these disabilities to get their certificates and avail benefits," he said.
 
In December 2016, the Parliament approved the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The new Act is an improvement on the Persons with Disabilities Act, which it replaces, as it recognises 21 types of disability (up from seven earlier) including those caused by an acid attack, haemophilia, sickle cell disease and dwarfism. There is also a provision for making national and state funds available for financial support to persons with disability.
 
However, the budget for 2016-17 makes no mention of this fund. Even though there were increments in the budget for central sector schemes and a 3.4 per cent increase in the budget for autonomous bodies, the overall allocation to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities follows a decreasing trend. The share of allocation for persons with disability fell from 1.08 per cent of the allocation for the department in 2016-17 to 0.98 per cent in 2017-18.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Maharashtra CIC orders details of welfare schemes to be put on website
The Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) has directed all public authorities in Maharashtra to upload complete information of all welfare schemes on their respective websites before 30 April 2017. Those public authorities which do not have any public welfare schemes should categorically mention so on their websites, the SCIC has stated.
 
In a hard-hitting directive to the chief secretary to ensure compliance with this order, SCIC Ratnakar Gaikwad has provided a detailed format in which information should be made public on the websites by every government department. Details to be included are: name of the scheme, its salient features, especially budget provisions, number of beneficiaries likely to be covered, eligibility criteria, format of application for the scheme, date of receipt of application, date of approval, and date of rejection with brief reasons for rejection. 
 
Public welfare schemes otherwise largely remain a secret and there have been alleged cases of large-scale irregularities and financial misappropriation. Besides, there are many welfare schemes of various government and municipal bodies but, often, intended beneficiaries are not aware of these schemes, their eligibility criteria or how to avail of them.
 
It is thanks to former Central Information Commissioner and leading Right to Information (RTI) activist Shailesh Gandhi that people will now have access to this vital information, at the click of the mouse. Mr Gandhi was impressed with Haqdarshak Empowerment Services, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has been accessing such information under RTI and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format for the benefit of beneficiaries of such schemes.
 
On 25 March 217, Mr Gandhi made a complaint to the SCIC, under Section 18 (1) (f) of the RTI Act, pointing out that there are many welfare schemes of various government and municipal bodies of which there is not enough public awareness. He appealed that “the (SCIC) Commission may consider issuing a directive to all government and institutions of local self-governance to give details of their welfare schemes in detailed format. It would also be very useful if the status of application is made available in the format indicated.”
 
SCIC Gaikwad immediately took cognisance of Mr Gandhi’s complaint. In his order, Mr Gaikwad states “…the Commission views this lapse on the part of the public authorities with serious concern. It is sad that after a lapse of more than 11 years since RTI Act has come to force, public authorities by and large have shown a lackadaisical attitude towards proactive disclosures as laid down under Section 4 of the Act.”
 
Mr Gaikwad invoked the following sub-sections of Section 4 of the RTI Act in support of his directive:
  • “Section 4 (1) (b) of Right to Information Act, 2005 is the heart and soul of the RTI Act, which makes it mandatory to all public authorities to disclose information about 17 aspects of public authorities which, inter alia, covers schemes implemented by public authorities, and list of beneficiaries to be displayed on the websites of respective public authority.
  • “So also Section 4(1)(c)(d) mandates that all decisions, Administrative/Quasi-Judicial, taken by public authorities, and material/facts based on which such decisions are taken, must be suo motu be communicated to the affected persons forthwith by public authorities. All welfare schemes implemented by the government are obviously covered under the above provisions of the RTI Act. But, unfortunately, no department yet has implemented in letter and spirit above provisions, with the result there is hardly any transparency and accountability in the implementation of various welfare schemes implemented by the government.” 
 
Commenting on the SCIC’s directions, Mr Gandhi says, “The Maharashtra Chief Information Commissioner, Mr Gaikwad, has issued a landmark order, which should benefit intended beneficiaries of government welfare schemes. Showing great promptness and sensitivity to the public cause, empathy to the disadvantaged and understanding of the law, Mr Gaikwad issued an appropriate order immediately directing all departments to display the information in the suggested format. This could help to reduce corruption in these schemes.”
 
Mr Gandhi has appealed to NGOs and others working on these matters to monitor if this order is complied with and, in case of non-compliance, file a complaint under Section 18 with the State Information Commission. 
 
Here is the copy of the order issued and format suggested for public authorities to disclose information on welfare schemes by the Maharashtra SCIC:
 
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, which she won twice in 1998 and 2005, and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book, “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte”, with Vinita Kamte, and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

5 months ago

Wow, this is truly excellent. With this move, the applicants get the information they need to apply for this scheme with a public display of the decision.
I hope that each scheme is also compelled to publicize the total that availed of this scheme by year end.
RTI is an extraordinary powerful tool. I think as people get more accustomed to using it, the fraud and pilferage would decrease dramatically.

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